‘Unless blacks feel part of society, there will be no stability’

2013-11-15 09:11

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South Africa is a society moulded by race, according to Enoch Godongwana, the head of the ANC’s economic transformation policy committee.

“We need to address the imbalance of the past,” he said yesterday during a Black Management Forum (BMF) debate in Joburg on affirmative action.

“Unless black South Africans feel part of this society there will not be stability.”

Godongwana said it was because of the ANC’s policies that the black middle class had grown.

Affirmative action was an important tool.

Godongwana was participating in a debate with DA leader Helen Zille, Solidarity’s deputy general secretary Dirk Hermann and the BMF’s deputy president Koko Khumalo.

Zille argued that the country needed to find mechanisms for inclusivity that did not entrench race issues permanently.

“We want people to be judged by their character not on the colour of their skin. We need to look at the biggest barriers of inclusion,” she said.

The barriers included education and the slow rate of economic growth.

Zille said her party supported the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act but was opposed to race classification.

Hermann said affirmative action had failed.

“Affirmative action has failed ... not only here but also globally,” he said.

“We need a new social dialogue in South Africa on affirmative action with a view of a new national consensus.”

Hermann said the country had radical ideas about race and minorities were being alienated.

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